February 9, 2018
The E-Newsbrief of the National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. Each issue provides summaries of the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the Web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured each week are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others.
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- Top Stories
- Calendar Features
- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
- Job Openings
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Registration Now Open for Spring 2018 National Trainers’ Exchange and WTP Awardee Meeting
The 7th National Trainers’ Exchange is hosted by the Western Region Universities Consortium (WRUC) in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP). The Exchange will bring together safety and health trainers and training stakeholders from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the NIEHS WTP to exchange ideas about how to make training for hazardous materials and emergency response workers more effective and empowering. The Awardee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018; the National Trainers’ Exchange will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 10-11, 2018. The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel. The hotel room block and registration are now open!
Resources for Occupational Exposures to Illicit Drugs
Emergency medical services (EMS) providers, firefighters, and law enforcement personnel are among those who may encounter illicitly-manufactured drugs during their work. Several WTP awardees have developed training courses for workers who may be involved in a methamphetamine (meth) lab discovery or a meth lab cleanup. These resources are found via the link below, along with additional health and safety resources related to occupational exposure to synthetic opioids and the hazards associated with clandestine meth labs. The resources address the possible health effects; what sort of PPE should be worn; and the best methods of decontaminating clothing and other gear.
Floods Are Getting Worse, and 2,500 Chemical Sites Lie in the Water’s Path
Anchored in flood-prone areas in every American state are more than 2,500 sites that handle toxic chemicals, a New York Times analysis of federal floodplain and industrial data shows. About 1,400 are located in areas at highest risk of flooding. The analysis looked at sites listed in the federal Toxic Release Inventory, which covers more than 21,600 facilities across the country that handle large amounts of toxic chemicals harmful to health or the environment. Of those sites, more than 1,400 were in locations the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) considers to have a high risk of flooding.
The New York Times [Authors: Hiroko Tabuchi, Nadja Popovich, Blacki Migliozzi, and Andrew W. Lehren]
Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever of Fatal Coal Miners’ Disease
Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) say they've identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, a cluster that was first uncovered by NPR 14 months ago. In a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), NIOSH confirms 416 cases of progressive massive fibrosis or complicated black lung in three clinics in central Appalachia from 2013 to 2017.
NPR [Authors: Howard Berkes and Adelina Lancianese]
The JAMA Network [Authors: Blackley et al.]
Up to 21 Percent of Asthma-Related Deaths May Be From On-the-Job Exposures, CDC Says
Occupational exposures may have contributed to 11 percent to 21 percent of all asthma-related deaths among 15- to 64-year-olds between 1999 and 2016, according to a recently released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report was published Jan. 19 in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
MMWR Report [Authors: Patel et al.]
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Registration Open for the 2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) symposium will be held May 8-11, 2018, on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Work & Well-being: How Safer, Healthier Work Can Enhance Well-Being.” The symposium will bring together more than 500 scientists and practitioners from around the world to learn about the latest science and practice for Total Worker Health approaches.
NIOSH Webinar Series 2018: Expanding Research Partnerships
This new webinar series continues the learning and discussions on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research and partnerships from the Expanding Research Partnerships: State of the Science Conference. The 2018 webinar series will feature intramural and extramural research within the NIOSH Program Portfolio from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET on February 14, May 16, and November 14, 2018.
Registration Now Open for NOIRS 2018
The National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) is the only national forum focused on the advancement of safe work environments for all workers. Currently, the symposium organizers are soliciting scientific and practice-based contributions from a variety of disciplines, including epidemiology, health economics, health communication, program evaluation, dissemination and implementation science, biostatistics, industrial/occupational psychology, safety engineering, industrial and systems engineering, physiology, mechanical and electrical engineering, health promotion, and management and health policy. This year, the event will be held in Morgantown, West Virginia, at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place on October 16–18, 2018.
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A Decade After Deadly Imperial Sugar Explosion, Still No New Worker Safety Standards
Violent explosions racked the Imperial Sugar plant outside Savannah, GA a decade ago, sending fire, fueled by sugar dust, racing through the facility. Eight workers died at the scene and six more at a regional burn center. Dozens of others suffered life-altering injuries from the February 7, 2008 inferno. Since then, explosions and fires tied to combustible dust have continued to claim worker lives.
Atlanta Journal Constitution [Author: Lois Norder]
Flu Patients Arrive in Droves, and a Hospital Rolls Out the ‘Surge Tent’
By mid-January, the flu season at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown was bad enough to justify dragging out the “surge tent.” Sandwiched between the ambulance helipad and the E.R. doors, the tent is mostly used as a holding area for walk-in patients who need monitoring. The extra space lowers the risk of infections in the main waiting room when the coughing and sneezing is at its worst. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that flu hospitalization rates across the country were the highest ever seen at this point in the season since tracking began in 2005.
The New York Times [Author: Donald G. McNeil Jr.]
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CDC’s New WISQARS Data Visualization
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) is an interactive, online database that provides fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost of injury data from a variety of trusted sources. Researchers, the media, public health professionals, and the public can use WISQARS data to learn more about the public health and economic burden associated with unintentional and violence-related injury in the United States.
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CPWR Small Study Program Funding Opportunity
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) Small Study Program funds research studies limited in time and amount that focus on construction safety and health issues. Successful applicants receive up to $30,000 for a study on a discrete topic that must be completed within one year. The Small Study Program provides flexibility for initiating studies that are generally for preliminary, short-term projects and are non-renewable.
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UIC Seeks Division Director for Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health (SPH) is seeking an innovative leader and accomplished scholar to direct the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS). The EOHS Division serves about 90 students in MPH, MS, and PhD programs with nine tenure-system faculty, and twice that number of research and clinical faculty. The Director is responsible for operation of the EOHS Division, which includes, but is not limited to: promoting a collaborative environment that fosters success through strong leadership and shared governance; representing the division at the School and University levels; managing the division’s budget, and more. The application deadline is March 15, 2018.
Women’s Voices for The Earth Seeks Campaigns and Outreach Coordinator
Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) seeks a Campaigns & Outreach Coordinator to serve as an integral member of a small, highly effective team working to amplify women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. This position provides outreach and organizing support for all WVE’s corporate and policy campaigns, executes strategies for mobilizing WVE’s base of activists nationwide to support campaign goals, and builds power among volunteer women leaders to support the organization’s work. Interested candidates should email their resume, cover letter, and three references to email@example.com. The application deadline is February 23, 2018.
CPWR Seeks to Fill Deputy Director Position
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) seeks a full-time deputy director. Please visit the page below for specific job description. CPWR is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD. Interested candidates should email their resume and a cover letter detailing their experience related to the position to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) Offers Paid Summer Internships
The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) online application is now open for summer 2018! The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a national summer program dedicated to help students learn about the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) from those most at stake: working people. Please help spread the word about this nine-week, paid summer internship opportunity open to undergraduate and graduate students interested in occupational safety and health, and in working with worker organizations like unions and worker centers. The application deadline is February 16, at 11:59pm PST.
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